Armstrong skips Dauphiné Libéré in favor of Tour de Suisse
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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Armstrong skips Dauphiné in favor of Tour de Suisse

by VeloNation Press at 9:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 

Team RadioShack's captain Lance Armstrong says he will head to Switzerland to contest the Tour de Suisse for his Tour de France build-up for 2010, rather than take part in the Dauphiné Libéré in France.  Armstrong has used the Dauphiné as preparation for six out of his seven winning Tour de France campaigns, with the French race on the radar as his next possible clash with former teammate and Tour de France favorite Alberto Contador (Astana).

There is speculation on whether his change in schedule is to avoid another showdown with Contador before the big event in July.  The move by Armstrong, who is known for his media savvy, could be seen as a way to increase the level of anticipation for the Tour's Grand Depart in Rotterdam.  The American won the Tour de Suisse in 2001 on the way to securing his third Tour de France crown.

Last year's Tour de Suisse, a race that lacked mountain passes as difficult as the Dauphiné, was won by Swiss time trial specialist Fabian Cancellara.  While the Swiss race has been used by both Armstrong and the great Eddy Merckx as a primer to the Grande Boucle, it was also the preferred choice of perennial Tour de France runner-up to Armstrong, Jan Ullrich.

So far Armstrong hasn't had the ideal preparation for his second bid to secure an eighth Tour de France victory.  He's currently heading back to the United States after sickness took him out of this week's Circuit de la Sarthe.  This recent setback comes on the heels of a strong performance at the Tour of Flanders this past weekend.  Armstrong also became ill during his build up to the Critérium International last month.

Next on tap for the American is the Tour of California next month, where he is expected to help teammate Levi Leipheimer as he attempts his fourth consecutive win in the event.

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